What to buy for classical music


I would love some suggestions on what kind of mini system would be best for listening to classical music. I have heard you just have to buy components for that kind of music. Any experiences?

Hi Anna,

Yes, you are correct that the best reproduction of stereo analog audio is through separate components.

There's generally nothing *that* wrong or bad about home theater receivers, but the fact that so many of them process digital multi-channel signals and need to be packed to the gills with features means that a little thing called pure stereo ananlog audio sometimes, not always, gets lost.

Receivers are forced to have tuners, pre-amps, power-amps, digital signal routing, many video inputs, central processing units, and power supplies all stuffed into one box in order to handle the demands of today's home theater.

For someone like you, looking just for a smaller 2-channel system ONLY for music the AV receivers are overkill. What YOU'LL need is simply a pre-amp, a power amp, a CD player (or turntable), and two nice speakers.

The pre-amp will have basic tone controls, a volume knob, a handful of stereo inputs and a input source selector. The main output of the preamp goes to the Power amp where you'll connect your speakers. Connect your CD player (or whatever your source is) to the preamp input and you're all set.

One quick note, there is such a thing as an "integrated amp" in which the pre and power amp are in one box. Something to consider of you want ease of use, but less flexibility (and cost efficiency), if say you wanted to upgrade just your amp down the road.

While I own a AV receiver (and home theater setup) I also am shopping for a smaller 2-channel setup as well for pristine listening sessions (also to classical music). In my travels I have been uniformly impressed with a company called Parasound. They have been making consistently nice gear for a while and have a new line called "Halo" it appears to be spectactular. Mind you, a power-amp and pre-amp will run you just over $1000 (for the HALO) but you'll probably never buy another one.

Another company to check out (avalable at Tweeter nation-wide) is B&K. You could grab a PT3 or PT5 preamp and stereo power amp, again, for just under $1000 (about half that used!).

Anna, also if you have the fortitude, try looking for used buys of the same gear: parasound and B&K. Try audiogon.com and ebay. I am consistently amazed at the deals you can get on just one or two year old gear (more than half off).

For speakers I would try B&W (303 or 602/3), Monitor audio, Castle Acoustics, Acoustic Energy Aegis one, or a pair of M&K bookshelf speakers. These are all premuim speakers, but since you are only buying 1 par (as opposed to 3 pr like theater nuts) you can really dig in and spend your money on exactly what you love...DON"T SKIMP ON SPEAKERS. (all of the above speaker are around or well under $600/pr).

I hope this helps, good luck,


For classical music, I would recommend the Denon mission system. The price is from www.etronics.com You can get one for $299 or a better sounding more powerful amp for $389. It looks classy, and has a nice and soft sound that is realistic. You might want to get a subwoofer later for the unit; that would be even better, although by it self, it is good as well. The speakers are made in England, and since they only make speakers, and are European, it suits classical music better. Denon is a good Japanese company as well. I've heard many small systems, and I am a classical musician, and this one was the best by far in the price range. It even has a clock so you can wake up to music, and you will love the it looks. Hope you like it.

New member
Username: Falp

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2004
If you must have a mini system...

Denon M31
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us